Uninviting Friends? (1 Viewer)

Preditor

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Whelp... I've done goofed up, y'all. After a 6 months of a steadily growing, successful home game, I invited a person tonight who just didn't fit in. In short, this person is a long-time friend of mine, and I frickin' love the guy. He's been there for me through a lot. But he also is... shall we say... an acquired taste?

I've invited him to other things I've hosted (movie nights, cigar nights, etc.) and never had an issue. But tonight I invited him to my poker night, and it just... didn't go well. Understand, it was nothing "disastrous". But I had the feeling as the host it was on the verge of becoming disastrous, and the stress was more than it was worth. I won't got into the details, but as one example he was just having such a jolly good time that he got a bit too tipsy, and once reached into the bank as a joke and laid 20 T1K chips next to mine (Thank God no chips spilled into the live stacks).

To make matters worse, this was our first two-table tourney. So I was already juggling a lot hosting-wise.

The problem? He has a blast. And a couple of people - who didn't witness his actions when we combined to the final table (he was well-out by them) - loved him (for many of the same reasons I love him). One of our best regulars even said, "Hey! Are you coming back next month?!"

A lot of this I blame on me. I thought he had a better understanding of poker than he did. So I fully take this as my fault for not being more discerning in inviting him.

But now... I need to find a way to tell him he's not coming back. This is a friendship I want to keep.

I think I know how I am going to do it. But any suggestions or stories from similar experiences would be highly appreciated.
 
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Don't invite him...

I have a few people that are friends, that I don't invite. One day I had a game with all the people I don't invite.

Some people just don't mix well with others. It's just the way it is. It's not easy being in charge, but sometimes you have to takes the hits to make it work.
 
Whelp... I've done goofed up, y'all. After a 6 months of a steadily growing, successful home game, I invited a person tonight who just didn't fit in. In short, this person is a long-time friend of mine, and I frickin' love the guy. He's been there for me through a lot. But he also is... shall we say... an acquired taste?

I've invited him to other things I've hosted (movie nights, cigar nights, etc.) and never had an issue. But tonight I invited him to my poker night, and it just... didn't go well. Understand, it was nothing "disastrous". But I had the feeling as the host it was on the verge of becoming disastrous, and the stress was more than it was worth. I won't got into the details, but as one example he was just having such a jolly good time that he got a bit too tipsy, and once reached into the bank as a joke and laid 20 T1K chips next to mine (Thank God no chips spilled into the live stacks).

To make matters worse, this was our first two-table tourney. So I was already juggling a lot hosting-wise.

The problem? He has a blast. And a couple of people - who didn't witness his actions when we combined to the final table (he was well-out by them) - loved him (for many of the same reasons I love him).

A lot of this I blame on me. I thought he had a better understanding of poker than he did. So I fully take this as my fault for not being more discerning in inviting him.

But now... I need to find a way to tell him he's not coming back. This is a friendship I want to keep.

I think I know how I am going to do it. But any suggestions or stories from similar experiences would be highly appreciated.
You know him better than we do, how much of this was the drink? Have you had these types of talk before?
 
I'm assuming that your post doesn't cover exactly what the issue is. From an outsiders perspective this doesn't really seem like a huge issue. Sure, what he did was stupid and he needs to understand it's absolutely not okay. But just from reading your post I don't really see what else would warrant your disinterest in inviting him again.

I'm sure there are other reasons you might not want to invite him that you left out of the post. But maybe you'll find that you feel differently in a week.

I'd recommend not taking any action at the moment. Just don't give him a formal invite to your next game. There's a good chance that this alone will be enough to keep him out of the game if you don't want him there. But also won't burn any bridges.
 
Good friends can be direct and talk.

I’ve sat down my best of friends and told them to their face, “you’re fuckin up, tighten up” and they accept it and correct it.

If you care, and he cares, it will show in the conversation.

I too, like others above, feel like this is a salvageable situation and many years of poker can be had and memories made, if fixed directly. No soft talk.
 
Good friends can be direct and talk.

I’ve sat down my best of friends and told them to their face, “you’re fuckin up, tighten up” and they accept it and correct it.

If you care, and he cares, it will show in the conversation.

I too, like others above, feel like this is a salvageable situation and many years of poker can be had and memories made, if fixed directly. No soft talk.
This. If he's a great friend, have a frank and honest discussion with him. You jeopardize a great friendship and you feel like you have to hide something every time you see him outside of poker.

Do you see him a lot outside of poker nights? If yes, it's a simple conversation.

"Hey preditor's friend, I was really happy you were able to make it to my last game. I hope you enjoyed yourself! However, please don't do x, y, z again if you can help it. I was really stressed out from hosting a large event for the first time and those things added a lot of stress for me. I want everyone to have a great time first and foremost but in order to keep this a regular thing I need to uphold the integrity of the game, especially when any kind of money is involved. I hope you understand. I'd love to have you over again but I won't invite you over again in the future if you do things that compromise the game".
 
Hey preditor's friend, I was really happy you were able to make it to my last game. I hope you enjoyed yourself! However, please don't do x, y, z again if you can help it. I was really stressed out from hosting a large event for the first time and those things added a lot of stress for me. I want everyone to have a great time first and foremost but in order to keep this a regular thing I need to uphold the integrity of the game, especially when any kind of money is involved. I hope you understand. I'd love to have you over again but I won't invite you over again in the future if you do things that compromise the game".
Umm if your obnoxious friends are anything like mine this conversation would only ramp things up for him. Just look what happens here!
 
Listen, when I cook up magic, I don't explain how I do it.

I do explain that there are a limited number of seats, and my algorithm only allows for me to invite so many people. Its largely based on seniority. I had an issue with someone after drinking, they apologized the next day, I told them no big deal. They know they won't get another invite but I don't need to tell them.

I would wait until he brings it up, and explain the situation, why it was an issue, then see how they respond.

Its hard to suggest a course of action without specifics. I have other friends that I really like, poker is just not their thing.
 
Umm if your obnoxious friends are anything like mine this conversation would only ramp things up for him. Just look what happens here!
Most are only obnoxious with copious amounts of alcohol in their system. I imagine this conversation taking place with all parties sober
 
”Hey dick! You fucked up my host vibe a good bit with your drunk shenanigans. I’ve got shit to focus on and don't wanna baby sit your goofy ass again, simmer down and don't get so wasted that you shit on my parade…. Now hug it out, or we’re fighting, again, and I’ll win, again…”

[Starts to hug friend, immediately turns into a bear hug, under hooks happen, man love happens, everyones happy after a scurrfluffle….]

✅
 
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”Hey dick! You fucked up my host vibe a good bit with your drunk shenanigans. I’ve got shit to focus on and don't wanna baby sit your goofy ass again, simmer down and don't get so wasted you shit on my parade…. Now hug it out, or we’re fighting, again, and I’ll win, again…”

Starts to hug friend, immediately turns into a bear hug, under hooks happen, man love happens, everyones happy after a scurrfluffle….

✅
NEVER give double underhooks, always pummel that. I don't care if its Grandma, its about leverage and control and I won't have it.
 
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Maybe inform him of what he did and why it was wrong and just go over some rules? Without details its hard to judge based on one single example.
Yea, I know I am being vague. I think part of that is me trying to discern how much was an "issue" with other players, and how much was an issue that stressed me out more as a host. Like the other players laughed at the chip thing; as a host it was stressful since I am responsible for their money.

There was only one time he was outright disrupting play. He got up to wash his hands in the kitchen, and cards were dealt to him. I told him to get back to his seat, and he proceeded to explaining (trying to be funny) how "time is a construct". He took two minutes to get back to his seat...

I know as a host I should have folded his hand, but since I could tell he was tipsy, I was worried it would just cause more a disturbance. It was very annoying to the players at that table (of which I was at that table). He got knocked out shortly after, and otherwise wasn't a terror (outside of the chip thing). That's why when we got to the final table and he was hanging around (most of our players do), people seemed to enjoy him.

In hindsight, I'd rate 70% of it as lack of familiarity with poker, which is on me. I thought he knew more than he did. But that was exacerbated by some inebriation.
 
Yea, I know I am being vague. I think part of that is me trying to discern how much was an "issue" with other players, and how much was an issue that stressed me out more as a host. Like the other players laughed at the chip thing; as a host it was stressful since I am responsible for their money.

There was only one time he was outright disrupting play. He got up to wash his hands in the kitchen, and cards were dealt to him. I told him to get back to his seat, and he proceeded to explaining (trying to be funny) how "time is a construct". He took two minutes to get back to his seat...

I know as a host I should have folded his hand, but since I could tell he was tipsy, I was worried it would just cause more a disturbance. It was very annoying to the players at that table (of which I was at that table). He got knocked out shortly after, and otherwise wasn't a terror (outside of the chip thing).

In hindsight, I'd rate 70% of it as lack of familiarity with poker, which is on me. I thought he knew more than he did. But that was exacerbated by some inebriation.
He sounds annoying and drunk, but this isn't something I'd ban someone for. I totally get that I wasn't there, you're being vague, no worries. But eh, let him know he was annoying but glad he had fun, and fold his hand next time. Good luck, hosting is challenging, keeping everyone happy.
 
If this is his first time at a game you hosted, and he's as close a friend as you describe, definitely give him another chance.

Definitely seems like he stressed you out as host than bothered others. I'm definitely guilty of thinking things were worse off due to my own stress than they actually were in reality.

With a talk, getting him more familiar with poker etiquette, hopefully that'll alleviate some of the stress, and you'll both be in better positions for things to go more smoothly next time.
 
Several others have already stated the obvious. I would definitely give him another chance, but more importantly, have a one on one with him and be candid, and what a friend is supposed to be…
 
It's a tough call for sure. I have about 12 guys that want to play at my table that only sits 8. Luckily, my regulars only have a few drinks each
in the run of an evening as most drive, and its not worth the risk of being caught with a DUI.
I always send out a request to my 8 regulars first, then I back fill with my spare list. Some that have played in the past and were not well received
never get another invite. It's simple, I have my regulars and about 3 really good guys that will back fill anytime they are called.
We play a social game, and one of the guys that wanted to play, came and decided to go all in every other hand. He must of thought he was playing
on line play money poker. I golf with him all the time, and straight out told him that he will not be invited back due to his super aggressive play, which
just ruined the experience of everyone that evening. I told him that we just want to play poker, not make it a living. We still golf together every summer...and he has not been invited since, and he has not asked to play again.
Basically, it's the host that dictates the players, rules, etc.
 
Yea, I know I am being vague. I think part of that is me trying to discern how much was an "issue" with other players, and how much was an issue that stressed me out more as a host. Like the other players laughed at the chip thing; as a host it was stressful since I am responsible for their money.

There was only one time he was outright disrupting play. He got up to wash his hands in the kitchen, and cards were dealt to him. I told him to get back to his seat, and he proceeded to explaining (trying to be funny) how "time is a construct". He took two minutes to get back to his seat...

I know as a host I should have folded his hand, but since I could tell he was tipsy, I was worried it would just cause more a disturbance. It was very annoying to the players at that table (of which I was at that table). He got knocked out shortly after, and otherwise wasn't a terror (outside of the chip thing). That's why when we got to the final table and he was hanging around (most of our players do), people seemed to enjoy him.

In hindsight, I'd rate 70% of it as lack of familiarity with poker, which is on me. I thought he knew more than he did. But that was exacerbated by some inebriation.
See chart above.

You adult? He friend?

No need to stress so much about this. It’s valid that you’re anxious about the situation. Taking responsibility for entertaining a group of people and providing a smooth game is a lot but you’re in your head on this one.
 
But I had the feeling as the host it was on the verge of becoming disastrous, and the stress was more than it was worth. I won't got into the details, but as one example he was just having such a jolly good time that he got a bit too tipsy, and once reached into the bank as a joke and laid 20 T1K chips next to mine (Thank God no chips spilled into the live stacks).
This one you own half the responsibility, the chips should be out of reach from everyone except you. I'm not saying lock them down, but make sure someone has to at least make a move past you to access the bank, if he can make this move without leaving his seat, you need ot move the chips.

That said, once rebuys are done, always lock the chips down.

You know him better than we do, how much of this was the drink? Have you had these types of talk before?

Maybe inform him of what he did and why it was wrong and just go over some rules? Without details its hard to judge based on one single example.

I feel like this should be fixable with a conversation...
I agree with all the above, there isn't anything here that would make me ban a first-timer. I have had to lay the expectations with players that they can drink so long as it doesn't disrupt the game.

There was only one time he was outright disrupting play. He got up to wash his hands in the kitchen, and cards were dealt to him. I told him to get back to his seat, and he proceeded to explaining (trying to be funny) how "time is a construct". He took two minutes to get back to his seat...

I know as a host I should have folded his hand, but since I could tell he was tipsy, I was worried it would just cause more a disturbance. It was very annoying to the players at that table (of which I was at that table). He got knocked out shortly after, and otherwise wasn't a terror (outside of the chip thing). That's why when we got to the final table and he was hanging around (most of our players do), people seemed to enjoy him.
Yes you should have folded his hand so he realizes, tournaments are to be played with pace. Everyone probably gets a hand mucked at some point during the tournament and real players don't think this is a big deal.

There is something in this friendship dynamic that's weird, you love the guy, but you seem a bit scared of confrontation and that isn't healthy. And I think you're about to make a very unhealthy mistake if your best response is to ban him after some beginner faux pas.
 
Whelp... I've done goofed up, y'all. After a 6 months of a steadily growing, successful home game, I invited a person tonight who just didn't fit in. In short, this person is a long-time friend of mine, and I frickin' love the guy. He's been there for me through a lot. But he also is... shall we say... an acquired taste?

I've invited him to other things I've hosted (movie nights, cigar nights, etc.) and never had an issue. But tonight I invited him to my poker night, and it just... didn't go well. Understand, it was nothing "disastrous". But I had the feeling as the host it was on the verge of becoming disastrous, and the stress was more than it was worth. I won't got into the details, but as one example he was just having such a jolly good time that he got a bit too tipsy, and once reached into the bank as a joke and laid 20 T1K chips next to mine (Thank God no chips spilled into the live stacks).

To make matters worse, this was our first two-table tourney. So I was already juggling a lot hosting-wise.

The problem? He has a blast. And a couple of people - who didn't witness his actions when we combined to the final table (he was well-out by them) - loved him (for many of the same reasons I love him). One of our best regulars even said, "Hey! Are you coming back next month?!"

A lot of this I blame on me. I thought he had a better understanding of poker than he did. So I fully take this as my fault for not being more discerning in inviting him.

But now... I need to find a way to tell him he's not coming back. This is a friendship I want to keep.

I think I know how I am going to do it. But any suggestions or stories from similar experiences would be highly appreciated.
You're not the first person to have issues with @CraigT78
 
This one you own half the responsibility, the chips should be out of reach from everyone except you. I'm not saying lock them down, but make sure someone has to at least make a move past you to access the bank, if he can make this move without leaving his seat, you need ot move the chips.
Chips are in a separate space off the table and in the corner of the room. But I'll see if I can lock them down more next time.
There is something in this friendship dynamic that's weird, you love the guy, but you seem a bit scared of confrontation and that isn't healthy. And I think you're about to make a very unhealthy mistake if your best response is to ban him after some beginner faux pas.
I agree with everything you said except this, though I can understand why you feel that way.

For added context, the reason I am way more alert about this is because I co-host this game, and it is run in someone else's home. I run the game basically, but they open their space. I would love to do it in my own space, but I have an apartment without the capacity for this. So I am trying to be sensitive to the friend whose home it is when a player I invite doesn't gel well the first time.

Having said that, because of the dual-hosting dynamic, I do way overthink these dynamics with this event. It's just an added layer of complexity that makes me more critical of things, and likely way too much so.

So going to take a breather. It was hardly a disaster and had multiple people tell me today they had a blast last night. I just wrote this OP coming off of the heals of it last night, but not making any decisions right now, and appreciate all of the insights!
 
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I always send out a request to my 8 regulars first, then I back fill with my spare list. Some that have played in the past and were not well received
never get another invite. It's simple, I have my regulars and about 3 really good guys that will back fill anytime they are called.
I like this actually. It may be something we implement ourselves, trimming down the guest list to 8-12 regulars, and willing in with others.

Does anyone on your spare list mind being on your "spare list"?
 
Is it possible that you were more sensitized to his behavior than the rest of the players, since you’ve known him so long, and were on the lookout for him to misbehave?

The one caper reported was dumb as hell, one that a seasoned player would never pull. But it was just that: A newbie joke. He surely didn’t realize what a no-no it was.

Rather than causing a rift in your friendship, I would give him a second try.

But before the next game, I would have a friendly chat with him to make him understand that the regs in the game are more serious players. Even if they are there mainly for fun, they expect everyone else to respect the game.

Emphasize that you are really hoping to incorporate him long term, but you can’t allow more disruptions like that because they could cause you to lose regs, and make your life difficult as a host.

If he doesn’t listen, and is increasingly disruptive, you can disinvite him after one or two more games, and just say you don’t think it’s the right fit for him. If he’s truly a friend, he’ll understand.
 
Is it possible that you were more sensitized to his behavior than the rest of the players, since you’ve known him so long, and were on the lookout for him to misbehave?
Yes, for sure. And this is what I am parsing out.

And part of that is what I wrote in a reply right before you posted. I co-host this out of another friend's home. They don't know each other well, and so I am far more sensitive when someone I invite doesn't gel well at first. And I wrote this right after the event last night, so it was hot on my mind. So part of the dynamic is to first see if the co-host felt any frustrations, and make sure that is being heard as well.

I would love to host this out of my own space. If anyone is willing to float me $200K for a downpayment on a larger condo in LA, then please PM me.
 

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